Newton Drug Co-Seattle Washington-Poison Labels

SKU: VLC1012 $3.65 USD

Historic Overview

This wonderful collection of pharmacy labels is from the Newton Drug Company of Seattle, Washington. It features a great group of mostly poison labels with Skull & Crossbones including Sulphuric Acid (2.7” x 1.5”), Calomel (2.5” x 1.4”), Carbolic Acid (2.75” x 1.3”), Tinct. Iodine (2.6” x 1.65”), Nitric Acid (2.6” x 1.5”), and Aromatic Cascara (2.7” x 1.2”). Based on the telephone number of 3375, we think these labels date to the 1920s.


The Newton Drug Company opened for business in 1911, at 676 Jackson Street in Seattle, Washington. The proprietor of the drug store was Joe K. Imai. He operated this successful drug store for 30 years, when the start of World War II, in December of 1941, brought a tragic end to the store. Japanese American citizens who lived on the West Coast were forced by our government to move to "relocation camps" in other areas of the country. The Imai family was given a short time to sell their stock, and the store was closed. After the war, the Imai family returned to Seattle but did not reenter the drug store business. I found a photo of the drugstore taken in 1915 with five people in the doorway. It came from the University of Washington Libraries, Wing Luke Asian Museum.



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Witchal Witch Hazel Label - Large
This is a fascinating Witch Hazel label from 1910 that we carry in two sizes. This is the larger label measuring 5” Wide x 3.25” High. It is from the E.E. Dickinson & Co., Essex, Connecticut and is “A valuable household remedy indicated in all inflammatory conditions.” Witch Hazel, unlike some snake oil remedies, actually works. The practice of steeping the twigs and leaves of the witch hazel plant originated with Connecticut's Native American population and produced a mild astringent which was used as a family remedy for a variety of minor ills. Commercially, however, little profit was made due to the product's short shelf life. The first person to harness the commercial potential was Dr. Alvin F. Whittemore, in the early 1860s. The secret to the doctor's success was that by adding alcohol, he preserved the witch hazel, vastly increased the product's shelf life. For the remainder of the decade, witch hazel continued to be produced by an ever changing consortium of partners, settling with the Reverend Thomas N. Dickinson. Founded in 1875 by Edward E. Dickinson, Sr., the company refined the development of witch hazel begun by the Reverend. A family controlled company until its sale, E. E. Dickinson survived the Depression and both World Wars intact and profitable. By 1983, and no longer thriving, the family sold the company to a group of investors. It is now owned by the German pharmaceutical concern, Merz Inc. WE GUARANTEE OUR LABELS TO BE AUTHENTIC AND AS DESCRIBED!

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